European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS)

On the 5th of July 2018, the European Parliament has passed a new ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorisation System) regulation. The new system is expected to be operational in 2021.

All visa-exempted third country nationals traveling to the Schengen area, will be obligation to obtain such ETIAS authorization against a fee of EUR 5. Individuals under the age of 18 and over the age of 70 can obtain such without further cost. The application for ETIAS will be a simple 10-15 minute procedure. The authorization will be valid for 5 years or until the expiry of the passport which was used to apply for ETIAS, and will be valid for multiple travel. A response to an ETIAS application will be given within 3 days.

ETIAS will also apply to family members of EU citizens and of third-country nationals enjoying free movement, who are not in the possession of a residence card.

The following persons are exempted from ETIAS:

  • Holders of long-stay visas;
  • Holders of local border traffic permits;
  • Citizens of the micro-states in the Schengen Area (Monaco, San Marino, Vatican City);
  • Holders of diplomatic passports and crew members of ships or aircraft while on duty;
  • Nationals who are family members of EU citizens or of third-country nationals enjoying free movement, who are holders of a valid residence card;
  • Recognized refugees;
  • Stateless persons;
  • Other persons who reside and hold a travel document issued by a Member State.

As ETIAS does not apply to EU citizens, persons having multiple nationalities which include third-country nationalities, must use the passport issued by a Member State for entering the Schengen area.

The objective of ETIAS is to ensure:

  • that no other valid travel authorization already exists with different identity data, to ensure that such data do not correspond to a refused, revoked or annulled travel authorization application;
  • that the applicant is not subject to a refusal of entry alert and/or to ensure that the travel document used for the application has not been reported lost, stolen or has been invalidated;
  • whether the applicant is not subject to an alert on the basis of a European Arrest Warrant or wanted for arrest for extradition purposes;
  • that the applicant has not been reported as an overstayer, at present or in the past, or has was refused entry;
  • that the applicant had no visa application refused in the Visa Information System (this would be checked for nationals of visa-waiver-status countries in the past five years and for applicants having more than one nationality);
  • that the applicant and the data provided in the application corresponds to information recorded in the Europol data;
  • a risk assessment is conducted for irregular migration risks, particularly as to whether the applicant was subject to a return decision or a removal order issued following the withdrawal or rejection of the application for international protection;
  • that no criminal record is recorded;
  • that the applicant and/or the travel document are not subject to an Interpol alert.

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